- Automatically scans your Mac upon launch
- Option to review files before deleting them
- Identifies huge files
- Quickly locates duplicate image, audio, video files and documents
- Limited set of tools available
- Awkward design choices
- Doesn't offer lifetime license, but pricey yearly subscription
You might think a decade of developing utility software for Windows operating systems would bring enough experience to come up with a fresh approach to optimizing Mac computers. The successful release of RegistryBooster and WinBackup 2.0 was followed by other apps such as maintenance software Powersuite and PC Mechanic, which combines PC cleaning software with performance fix features.
Malta-based Uniblue is proud to highlight that, after numerous successful software launches servicing Windows users, it expanded its software portfolio in 2014 with its Mac optimization software. Machanic promises to free up your computer's startup disk by removing junk data and other files you don't need. As freemium software, Machanic is available to download for free and allows countless system scans to check how much space can be freed up, but the cleaning features will cost you $59.95 per year.
Upon launch, Machanic's unfortunate design choices become apparent; it's simply not as easy on the eyes like in the case of other Mac cleaning software. The four tools that come with Machanic – junk cleaner, app uninstaller, duplicate files finder and space manager – occupy the central area of the software window, displaying the amount of data they can safely remove. Unfortunately even simplistic design choices, if created poorly, can become redundant, and that's sadly the case with Machanic.
The Mac optimization software begins to scan your Mac as soon as it is launched and will search and identify files falling into categories such as language files, user cache files, trash files and user log files, as well as searching for duplicates in your home location with the exception of the Library folder. It will also scan all files on your system disk, identifying their size and the last time they were accessed.
The automatic scan Machanic performs at launch is fast. The Mac cleaning software comes back with the results in just a few seconds (depending on your computer's computing abilities, of course), and you'll quickly get an overview of how much data can be removed across four categories: junk, duplicates, huge files and apps.
Removing user caches built up by third-party apps, language files and log files is pretty straightforward, and Machanic does a good job of identifying them and any duplicate files (images, audio, videos, archives, documents and other files) before providing the option to review any flagged files ready for deletion.
Depending on your preferences, Machanic's space manager tool will even flag your iPhoto and Photos library as a folder to be checked, which doesn't really make sense since these folders tend to be among the biggest on your Mac due to the amount of pictures and videos they store. Additionally, the app gives you the option to review any huge files, displaying their size info and when they were last accessed. You can remove them if deemed necessary by selecting the file or folder.
The main purpose of Machanic is to clean your hard drive but the feature set provided by the software is pretty limited when compared to other Mac optimization tools, whether that’s free equivalents like OnyX or paid competitors such as CleanMyMac and MacBooster.
Actually, the app uninstaller and the duplicate finder serve the dual purpose of freeing up space, which is especially handy if you see that annoying “Your startup disk is almost full” message. The uninstaller will also list all third party software you have installed on your Mac. For some reason, Machanic doesn't display Apple-developed software such as iMovie, iPhoto – despite these occupying gigabytes of space – or Pages and Numbers, and the like.
Unfortunately, you'll have to wait for Machanic to scan your whole computer for duplicates, because specific folders cannot be targeted with this feature like with other third party apps.
Unlike its competitors, which offer the option to choose between a variety of lifetime license options, Uniblue favors recurring revenue so the only option available should you want to unlock all the premium features is to choose a subscription, which costs $59.95 per year. You can either pay by bank card – Uniblue accepts all major international brands such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and JCB – PayPal or wire transfer.
Machanic is freemium software meaning the basic functions such as system scanning are free, but if you want to clear up any used space then that’s when you’ll need to pay. The good news is that Machanic is also covered by Uniblue's 60-day money back guarantee, so if you aren't satisfied with the services provided by the app then there is the option to ask for a refund by submitting a ticket through customer support. However, note that purchases made from the Uniblue store, including subscription renewals, are eligible for a refund.
When it comes to Mac maintenance software, for some reason customer service isn't much of a priority and Uniblue joins this line of companies with Machanic. We liked that clicking on the question mark in the app reveals a short explanation of the actions you can take, and that the app includes a help file. But during testing we tried to reach the customer support Uniblue has for Machanic and ran into issues.
If your question wasn't answered in the FAQ section, there is an option to submit a ticket to the team. Our submission, however, wasn't flawless: after we filled out the web form and hit send, we got an error message saying it wasn't successful along with a recommendation to contact them via email. But shortly afterwards we got an email confirming that the ticket had been submitted. And even then, as with other paid Mac utility software, don't expect a speedy reply.
If you are running out of disk space on your flash drive or never (or just occasionally) clean up your Mac, Uniblue's Machanic app is a cleaning tool you should consider. You will be amazed how much space cache files, duplicates and other ‘junk’ files take.
The free version of Machanic allows countless scans and will help you get an idea of what might be slowing down your Mac. Once you’re ready to remove gigabytes of useless data you can get the annual subscription for $59.95 and unlock the essential premium features duplicate file finder, app uninstaller, junk cleaner and space manager. Considering this price point we expected Machanic would have more tools under its belt. A company with vast experience in developing optimization software like Uniblue can surely do better, which is why we have high hopes on a new iteration of the software with more features and a slicker interface.